In Disney’s beautiful and nostalgic, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, gamers are treated to a familiar world filled with classical Disney elements. It’s a magical musical, it’s a co-op platformer, it’s a loot-gathering role-playing game and it pays homage to one of the greatest cartoon characters of all time, Mickey Mouse. This time, however, the sequel to the popular 2010 Wii action-adventure platformer, Epic Mickey 2 has extended its reach to other consoles as well, fixing many of the glitches and irritations (awkward camera and fiddly controls) that dampened the previous release. And with game designer Warren Spector (Wing Commander, Deus Ex) on board, there are many great things in store.
In Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two gamers get the opportunity to play with both Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (Walt Disney’s first big cartoon star), returning both characters to the Wasteland, an alternate world filled with yesteryear wonders and attractions. Mickey is armed with a magical paint brush, which allows him to create and erase elements in the world, while Oswald is armed with a powerful remote control which allows him to command electricity. Together the two team up as partners to rescue the Wasteland world from Blot, an ink-like creature who first appeared in the previous title. Aided by the game’s first villain, the Mad Doctor, who is now reformed, the two set off an adventure filled with obstacles and illusions, restoring the world to its former glory. There are many different gaming levels (all with their own unique setting) within Wasteland that offer many different quests (like searching for Donald Duck or repairing various items) – the more you explore the more quests become available to you.
Without even so much as a recap, everything begins with our two heroes in a mad rush to escape a crumbling castle, giving gamers enough time to familiarize themselves with the controls and the beautiful world set before us, even more of a visual delight than the first. Pay careful attention and you might notice a few nods by the creators to classic films that have past – The Little Mermaid, Snow White and The Black Hole are just a few of the hidden gems. We’re also treated to a terrific voice cast and the privilege of hearing Oswald speak for the very first time after the opening musical number. The amazing cut scenes escalate the whimsical fun by capturing the very heart of vintage animation. Coupled with the Disneyland backdrops, Epic 2 captures the very essence of everything we’ve grown to love about Disney over the years. And with so many elements to explore, items to collect and secrets to discover, the game bottles a huge amount of fun, that could keep players busy for quite some time.
Despite the many fixes to the original gameplay a few bugs remain, most notably the camera issues and a few co-op glitches. Oswald’s AI, when playing single player, can also get in the way of the gameplay as well. The character often wonders off and on screen at the most inconvenient times. Even so, Epic Mickey 2 is an authentic, visually stunning love letter to a classic cartoon, long past but not forgotten. Kids, both young and old, will enjoy the experience of seeing Mickey once again, back where he belongs, in the centre of our television screens.